Coping while Married to an Alcoholic

Coping while Married to an Alcoholic

I’ve been married 31 years. For at least 20 of those I’ve known my husband is an alcoholic. We’ve been through AA and outpatient therapy. He’s quit three times in the last 10 years. Now he’s drinking again. My mental health has hit an all-time low. I’m soooo hurt. He knows what he’s doing to me and that he’s killing what love is left. I don’t care if there’s help for him anymore (mentally or physically). Financially I can’t leave him. God doesn’t forgive adulterers, so an affair is out of the question. All I can indulge myself in is either work or food. Is there anything else I can do for myself?

Peggy Elam

A past president of the Nashville Area Psychological Association, Peggy Elam provides psychotherapy and psychological consultation to help patients achieve emotional well-being. She is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Nashville.

One of the first things that comes to my mind is your participating in Al-Anon … the free community support groups for family members of alcoholics. Going to Al-Anon meetings might give you additional support in taking care of yourself in healthy ways. You may have attended Al-Anon groups in the past while your husband was working the AA program. But even the spouse of an active alcoholic can benefit from the Al-Anon program. If you haven’t tried Al-Anon — or haven’t participated lately — why not go to a meeting or two and see how you feel?

This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.

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